recognition for computing skills, cont. (34)

Sun, 16 Apr 89 21:21:44 EDT

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 849. Sunday, 16 Apr 1989.

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 89 20:27:35 EDT
From: (Robert A Amsler)
Subject: Credit for Computing Skills

The issue of how to give credit for promotion to those who spend a
considerable portion of their time engaged in computing activities is
not only a problem in the humanities. I have seen instances of
faculty in COMPUTER SCIENCES discriminated against because their only
output was computer software. Likewise, I can imagine problems for
many disciplines in which someone's productive work appears as a work
of practical, rather than theoretical advance. For example, suppose
a music professor created an instrumental work which became a hit on
the popular music charts--but did not break any new ground in music?

Apart from the ever present possibility of envy, distrust of the new,
or fear of setting precedents--there is probably a genuine issue of
why any advance in technology should itself constitute the basis for
adding to the promotional merit of someone who becomes adept at that
technology. It would be interesting to know how advances such as
printing and most recently the recording of sound and images were
themselves greeted in the scholarly worlds at the times of their
introductions. That is, we know what has developed BECAUSE of these
technological advances--but what were the perceptions of these
techniques and those trained in traditional scholarship who were
first proficient in their use?